According to the latest report from the UN, tensions between India and Pakistan and the emergence of new terror groups and continued threats from militant affected the security situation, including children’s rights and protection mainly in Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the Newly Merged Districts in Pakistan.
According to the UN Report, the United Nations received reports of 36 incidents which resulted in the killing (7) and maiming (56) of 63 children. Of those incidents, 20 were attributed to armed groups, including attacks claimed by Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan in Balochistan (2) and Killa Abdullah (1) and the Islamic State in Quetta (1).
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Ten of the reported incidents involved the use of improvised explosive devices disguised as toys and resulted in the maiming of 19 children, mainly in Bannu, North Waziristan in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the Newly Merged Districts. The remaining 16 incidents involved cross-border attacks between Pakistan and India and reportedly killed (4) and maimed (18) 22 children.
A total of 34 attacks on schools, injuring 26 students, were reported. Among those, 14 attacks, which targeted girls’ education, occurred during a single day in August in Chilas in Gilgit-Baltistan.
Some attacks involved explosions and the use of improvised explosive devices and grenades. In addition, personnel of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative reported over 300 attacks in 2018.
During the General Election, on 25 July, 8 schools were reportedly used as polling stations and half of them were attacked with grenades. For instance, unidentified elements allegedly threw a hand grenade at a girls’ primary school in Kushak Village, before polling started.
The UN is seriously concerned by the reported spike in the number of child casualties and attacks on schools, including the targeting of girls’ education, as well as attacks relating to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative.
The UN welcomed the Government’s efforts to protect workers conducting the polio campaign and call on the Government to endorse the Safe Schools Declaration and take preventive measures to protect schools.
Source: UN Report